A Code of Conduct for Contractors & Clients
The Royal Institute of Ireland’s motto is :
Architects design, guide, manage, and advise.
The RIAI have a Architect's Code of Conduct that we members must adhere to. Broken down into three principles.
1 General Obligations
2 Obligations to Clients and Employers
3 Obligations to the Profession
The guide can be downloaded on the RIAI’s website:
RIAI Code of Conduct
RIAI Code of Conduct
Winkens Architecture approach:
This is based on our experience and relates to building one-off-Houses. Commercial projects are even much more complex.
We usually are employed by our clients to provide a full set of architectural services. From our first meeting to the day they move in, to the day of the retention release, we are there to guide and advise our clients with knowledge that we have built up over a few decades. Even before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicked in on the 25th May 2018 we kept our clients' information confidential.
Information given to us in writing or in conversations helps us to customise /streamline our service given. We have a very detailed written agreement outlining our services, broken down into different parts and several stages each. This is the basis of our relationship.
We try to have a good working relationship with Contractors. These are the steps we take to reach construction of a dwelling.
The tender package of working drawings, details and outline specification is usually started after a positive planning permission decision. We are aware that more information Contractors are given the better the tender received will be. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure contractors have a detailed idea of the dwelling and work to be costed for. The tender package includes structural engineers’ drawings and a preliminary BER that should be achieved by the specifications we provide.
The tender is sent out to a limited number of contractors for a set time. The next day of the tender return we go through the tenders to make sure there no mathematical errors.
The clients are shown all of the tender documents received and a recommendation is given as to which builder we should consider. We then talk to the contractor to ascertain if the project is fully understood. The successful tenderer is asked to sign a building agreement with the client. We also remind them of their Project Supervisor Construction (PSCS) Stage duties.
After the nomination of a Contractor, our duty is to be the go-between of client and the contractor. We convey information between them and make sure both are treated fairly.
Form the onset (design stage) we advise our clients to keep changes to a minimum. Our site visits are in line with progress made on site. Once the contractor puts in a payment claim we visit the site to see if progress is in line with the claim and try to issue a payment cert swiftly, as Banks are quite slow these days with their stage payments.
Variations or extras to the original agreement are best called out as they happen to avoid a big surprise at the end.
At the end of the build the final builders claim usually is settled with a meeting between the clients, contractor and ourselves.
A 2.5% retention of the final payment is kept on completion and released after six months, to cover any eventual items that need sorting.
With the release of the retention from client to Contractor our involvements with them both ends, for this project.
This was my first contribution to a shared discussion among architects practicing in Ireland, where we will discuss aspects of our services and the profession, under the Twitter hashtag
Twitter: Zeno the Architect @winkenswexford
Read my colleague's blogs on the subject: